Schnars’ Career High Paces Panama

Panama’s Karianne Yuchnitz takes the ball to the hoop during CCAA Division 2 West action against Sherman on Monday night in Panama. P-J photo by Mark L. Anderson

PANAMA — As Monday evening’s CCAA Division 2 West girls basketball game wore on, the reasons for Panama’s undefeated record became clearer and clearer as the Panthers used just about every trick in the book to pick up a 65-32 win over Sherman.

While the Wildcats (8-4, 3-1) looked like they would be able to give Panama (11-0, 4-0) a test thanks to some strong outside shooting, once the long-range buckets started to miss Sherman had no offensive answers, scoring just 17 points in the final three quarters of play.

“We got to scout them out against Maple Grove twice, I think they played them three times because of a tournament, and man they can knock down 3s and you saw that,” Panama coach Jeff Angeletti said. “So that really scared us. We mixed in some man, we mixed in some zones. We wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to control the outside, we were hoping that we could extend it out and if anything for them to dribble penetrate into our bigs where we could have some help inside.”

The opening eight minutes of play saw both Emily Starceski and Maggie Myers find buckets from range to keep Sherman close while Carrie Sands picked up 4 of her team-high 12 points in the opening quarter from bank shots in the post.

Despite the hot start from Sands in the post, Panama as able to do what it does best in the paint as Natalie Angeletti banged home 5 of her 15 points in the opener while Kylie Schnars hit 10 on her way to a career-high 23 to start the night.

Panama’s Alexys Marsh (22) and Sherman’s Jessica Cady battle for a rebound during Monday night’s CCAA Division 2 West game in Panama. P-J photo by Mark L. Anderson

Both of the Panama bigs would end the night with nine rebounds apiece, with Schnars earning three of her boards on putbacks in the opening quarter to give Panama the lead at 20-15.

With eight minutes of competitive play in the books, a combination of missed shots by the Wildcats and some changes in defensive schemes from the hosts spelled disaster for Sherman in the second quarter.

Joining in on Panama’s offensive rush was junior guard Karianne Yuchnitz, as she was able to pick up a bucket with an athletic finish down low while also dishing a clean pass to Maci Johnson for a finish on her way to five assists, two steals and eight rebounds.

“She works really hard, her outside shot is devastating, but she just makes everyone better, her passing is just unbelievable,” Angeletti said of Yuchnitz. “Obviously our big advantage tonight was to work it inside. She works really hard at finding and creating, a little dribble penetration and seeing the openings, a couple of lob passes and let Kylie Schnars go up and get it, so she has that great vision too.”

While Schnars and Natalie Angeletti have been responsible for so much of Panama’s dominant play down low on both ends of the floor, role players such as Yuchnitz are a big reason why the Panthers still hold an unblemished record.

“They are tenacious, their guards are quick. They have two really good inside players and they work a high-post offense really well and their bench is deep. It’s tough to compete against a team that’s as well-rounded as they are, for anybody,” said Sherman coach Josh Gratto, who is filling in for head coach Emily Eckwahl. “We talked about how we wanted to keep them off the boards and play tough man (defense). We played tough man but we had some breakdowns, and on the offensive end we’ve been in a shooting slump, one of these nights we’re going to get them to fall.”

While Myers was able to find another bucket from long range in the third quarter, that small bright spot was overshadowed by more shooting woes throughout the last 16 minutes of play for Sherman.

After some good work at the foul line by Abi Lisciandro, Lauren Barmore and Alexys Marsh in the third quarter, Panama was able to coast to victory down the stretch as Schnars buried a 3 in the final period.

Lisciandro would add four steals to go along with her 8 points while Barmore would finish with 9 points.

Hannah Murdock did her best down low for Sherman, finishing the night with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

SHERMAN (32)

Charrette 0 0 0, Carris 0 0 0 , Myers 3 3 11, Starceski 1 2 5, Gratto 0 0 0, Sands 4 3 12, Hayes 0 0, Murdock 2 0 4. Totals 10 8 32.

PANAMA (65)

Johnson 2 0 4, Lisciandro 3 2 8, Barmore 3 3 9, Yuchnitz 1 1 3, NAngeletti 7 1 15, EAngeletti 0 0 0, Schauman 0 0 0, Marsh 0 3 3, Schnars 10 2 23. Totals 26 12 65.

3-point goals–Schnars, Myers 2, Starceski, Sands.

Sherman 15 1 7 9 — 32

Panama 20 18 17 10 — 65

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